PJ elected as NUP vice chair
CEBU, Philippines — Cebu Third District Representative Pablo John “PJ” Garcia has been elected as the National Unity Party (NUP) vice president for the Visayas.
“I’m happy to be back working with the party that I helped nurture since its infancy,” Garcia said in a statement.
Garcia was among the founding members of NUP, which was formed in February 2011. His father, former Cebu governor and former deputy speaker Pablo “Pabling” Garcia, was NUP founding chairman and served the position until 2013.
Also elected during the group’s national convention on August 6 were Ronaldo Puno, former Interior and Local Government secretary, as party chairman; Rep. Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas, Cavite as party president; and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso as vice chairman for political affairs.
Other Cebu representatives who are NUP members are Second District Representative Wilfredo Caminero, Fourth District Representative Janice Salimbangon and Fifth District Representative Vincent “Duke” Frasco.
The NUP was tagged as an emerging power bloc in the House after it adopted President Rodrigo Duterte’s son as a member.
NUP, a part of Duterte’s supermajority in Congress, is affiliated with 53 congressmen.
It can be recalled that PJ was also elected as House Deputy Speaker on July 28. PJ, the younger brother of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, is the only Cebuano deputy speaker in the 18th Congress.
He vowed to push for Duterte’s legislative agenda, especially on economic and revenue measures to fund free education and social services.
He also promised to advance the interests of the Visayas, especially in the more equitable distribution of infrastructure projects.
PJ is now serving his first term as representative of Cebu’s third district, which is composed of the city of Toledo and the towns of Aloguinsan, Asturias, Balamban, Barili, Pinamungajan, and Tuburan. (FREEMAN)